Hi there! I'm Sammie, a Malaysian who's a lover of unicorns, bargains and adventures.
Published March 5th 2013
Cheap Eats at Chinatown
It was a chance decision to eat at Guilin Rice Noodle. My partner and I were strolling through Gouger St at 9pm on a Sunday looking for restaurants that still had their kitchens opened. We were looking for a cheap place to eat, so we had to filter out quite a few other restaurants. This small little shop caught our eye.
I think this might be a new restaurant; my partner vaguely recalls there being a similar shop called 'Noodle Dumpling' that used to be where Guilin Rice Noodle is. Pictures of the old menu are still displayed on a wall but they serve a whole new menu now.
What I like about the menu is that everything is relatively cheap. The average price of their dishes is between $8-$10 only. The serving staff gave us recommendations and informed us that you can choose to either have the dry or soup version of the dish. We both placed our orders and eagerly awaited our food to arrive.
My partner ordered the soup sliced beef with hot and sour sauce rice noodle. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly the meal was prepared; it only seemed like 5 minutes since we placed our orders. The portion was also pretty big. Well worth the $9 we paid. A side plate of peanuts, pickles and bean sprouts accompanied our food.
The beef was tender and well-cooked while the soup was packed with spices. When they said it was hot they meant it; a few minutes after my partner had dug into the soup, he started sweating from the spiciness.
I ordered the chicken and pickles rice noodle, a recommendation by the staff that this was one of their hottest items. The soup was very flavourful with the combination of spices, making me very glad that I had gone with the soup option instead of the dry. The chicken was cooked well and the Chinese pickles gave it and extra kick. My only initial fault with the food was that it was a bit too oily for my liking.
I say initial because it wasn't long before I had found several faults with the place.
Halfway through our meal, the kitchen staff brought out the trash bin- right into the eating area of the restaurant. I know it was nearing closing time during my visit to Guilin but did they have to do it right then? They placed it right in front of where they store their water jugs and the sink. It was literally a metre or two right behind my partner.
As I looked at the trash bin in distaste, I bit into something hard. To my horror there was a piece of metal wire in my food. When we confronted the restaurant staff, they explained that it probably fell into the vegetables when they were washing them. They apologised but offered no compensation. Probably cause we had already paid as their cashier was closing.
Honestly I have very mixed feelings about this place. On one hand, the food is pretty good and very affordable. On the other hand, the restaurant is not as hygienic as I'd like. I'm not sure if I will come back; has anyone else eaten at Guilin? Share your experience with me. For now, I'm going to avoid eating here unless there's nowhere else to eat.